The death of the office canteen and hotel food – is this the unexpected impact of Covid-19?
The enforced work from home experiment, initiated by Covid-19, is slowly bringing to light that some employees may
never return to the office full time. But will this mean that the once bustling canteen and restaurant lunch service is no longer?
And could new responses to the office cafeteria and business travel meals have unexpected benefits for workplace
meals and employees?
Covid-19 has reshaped the way people eat in public, and restaurants and canteens have taken urgent action in response to the
situation – but it may not be enough to get sit-down eating numbers back to their traditional levels.
Cultural significance of eating together
Eating and drinking together is an important cultural and workplace practice, and adjusting to a world of dining alone will take
some getting used to. This is especially true for those who will return to the office – with the office canteen a popular perk and
social hub for staff.
A recent survey found 82.7% say “tea, coffee and other refreshment facilities” are the most important services in the workplace –
and 74% of employees considered a workplace’s restaurant and canteen a top priority.
Food’s strong cultural ties may not mean a permanent end to eating out in public – but it will likely mean significant changes to
places like the office cafeteria. Food in the workplace will likely be prepackaged, transactions will be contactless, and lunch times
may be staggered.
Corporate food delivery services fill the void
Because large groups of employees probably shouldn’t be dining together just yet, many workplaces are looking to find new
solutions to staff dining, without sacrificing employee satisfaction.
One solution lies in the corporate food delivery space. Services like Eats on Uber for Business offer socially distanced dining
options for office workers. It’s a practical solution for business meals, and can be seamlessly ordered on corporate accounts.
The same is true for travelling employees – having food delivered to a hotel room door is a convenient way to eat.
This has played out practically in several ways during the spread of Covid-19. Owing to the disruption caused by the pandemic,
Freightliner Group’s train drivers found themselves in a difficult situation. ON arriving to their destination – there were no food
outlets open in order for them to eat. This initially proposed a problem to the group – how can we ensure our drivers can be fed
while working? The solution? The company added 300 drivers to the Eats on Uber for Business programme, they were fed
conveniently, wherever the train tracks took them across the country and beyond.
Others, like Singulart, have used the service to strengthen loyalty and employee engagement among those who had to
report to an office – and even for those still working from home – by organising a virtual happy hour with all employees.
Although the current circumstances have made it difficult to feed employees in offices and on the road, Eats on Uber for
Business is a fast, and easy solution. See how quick and tasty meals for your employees, and simpler expense organisation
for your management, can work for you by getting in touch with us here.